Investing.com - European stocks were lower on Wednesday, as market sentiment waned amid concerns over an economic slowdown in China, as well as worries over ongoing turmoil in Ukraine.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slid 0.69%, France’s CAC 40 tumbled 0.94%, while Germany’s DAX 30 retreated 0.77%.
Investors remained cautious amid worries over the outlook for China’s economy after data over the weekend showed that exports dropped 18.1% in February and inflation slowed.
Markets were also eyeing the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was to travel to the U.S. to meet President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continued.
On Tuesday, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said markets had missed some parts of its message on forward guidance last week.
He also said the ECB still had policy options available, including lower interest rates or quantitative easing, if necessary.
Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale tumbled 1.58% and 1.74%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank lost 1.09%.
Among peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit fell 0.04% and 0.74% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA edged down 0.17% and 0.40%.
Elsewhere, Tod’s SpA reported worse-than-forecast results, sending shares down 3.88%.
On the upside, Adecco SA surged 4.72% after reporting full-year earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
In London, as commodity-heavy FTSE 100 declined 0.69%, weighed by losses in the mining sector.
Shares in Rio Tinto retreated 1.13% and Glencore Xstrata lost 1.63%, while rivals BHP Billiton and Vedanta Resources plummeted 1.21% and 1.50% respectively.
G4S Plc was also on the downside, with shares plunging 2.49% after the company reported lower-than-forecast quarterly results.
Meanwhile, U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts broadly lower. Lloyds Banking shed 0.35% and Barclays dropped 0.54%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland tumbled 1% and HSBC Holdings plummeted 1.35%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.02% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.01% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% gain.
Later in the day, the euro zone was to produce official data on industrial production.